WHAT IS THE MOVI?

The MoVI is a handheld stabilized gimbal system created by the company Freefly Systems. It was the first of its kind and is still considered to be the best performing gimbal system in the industry.

The MoVI Pro can carry a professional cinema camera such as the Alexa Mini, cinema lenses including anamorphics, remote lens control, wireless video transmitter, and monitor. The MoVI Pro allows the operator to shoot cinematic quality images that are fully stabilized on the camera’s roll, pan, and tilt axis. It can be operated by a single operator in “majestic mode” or in dual operator mode, where a second operator controls the camera’s pan and tilt via a remote joystick or wheels control system.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MOVI AND OTHER GIMBALS SUCH AS THE DJI RONIN?

Besides being the first stabilized gimbal on the market, the Freefly Systems MoVI continues to be the leader in design and features and is designed and hand assembled in the US. The DJI Ronin is a Chinese mass manufactured knock-off brand which has attempted to copy the MoVI every step of the way. While it looks very similar to the MoVI, the Ronin cannot come close to the caliber of performance the Freefly Systems MoVI offers in stabilization, control, weight, and overall performance. Due to the lower cost of the Ronin and other similar knock-off brands, you can find many more Ronin owners / operators in the marketplace, usually offering their services for a much lower rate. But just like Steadicam and the many knock-offs that followed it, if you hire the best gear and the best operators, you will get the best performance and value for your production every time.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MOVI AND STEADICAM?

The MoVI uses electronic gyroscopes and brushless motors to isolate the operator’s movement from the camera and stabilize it. A fully rigged MoVI Pro setup with a cinema package weighs on average 30 lbs and can be operated by simply carrying it or by attaching it to a support rig such as the ReadyRig or Klassen Slingshot. The MoVI can easily get shots from overhead to low angles, can quickly be mounted to jibs, cranes, cable cams, drones, and vehicles. The MoVI breaks down in a very compact fashion and is very lightweight, making it very easy to travel with it. The MoVI can also be operated in dual mode, allowing one person to carry the system, while another operator controls the camera’s pan and tilt remotely using a joystick or wheels. Many DP’s greatly enjoy this feature, as it allows them to control the framing of their shot, without having to know how to operate the MoVI system or carry it themselves.

The Steadicam uses spring loaded arms and counter weights in order to isolate the operator’s movement from the camera and stabilize it. A fully rigged Steadicam with a cinema package can weigh up to 70 lbs and the operator must wear a vest to support its weight and operate it correctly. High to low range on a Steadicam is appx. 2 feet and following a high angle shot with a low angle shot requires an entire re-rigging of the system. The Steadicam cannot be easily mounted to anything other than its vest. The Steadicam however, does have the advantage of stabilizing the camera on its vertical axis and allows for the camera to be comfortably operated at eye level, making it somewhat easier to achieve long walk and talk shots with an actor than doing the same shot on the MoVI. The Steadicam can also carry more weight than the MoVI, allowing the operator to use heavier lenses and additional camera accessories.

Both the MoVI and the Steadicam are very effective filmmaking tools and each have their strong and weak points. If you are unsure which tool is right for your production, feel free to contact me and we can discuss it in more detail.

DO I HAVE TO HIRE A MOVI OPERATOR OR CAN I JUST RENT THE GEAR AND HAVE OUR CAMERA GUY OPERATE IT?

Similar to Steadicam, the MoVI requires special a special skill set to operate it correctly and effectively. While anyone can pick up a fully rigged MoVI and achieve a somewhat stabilized shot, it requires much more skill and finesse to get a perfectly smooth, stabilized shot, especially when moving with it quickly, running backwards with it, operating it from a vehicle, etc. In addition, rigging the MoVI with all the required cinema tools such as the camera and lens, remote lens control, wireless video transmitter, monitor, and battery power system requires special knowledge of each of these components. Each part of the MoVI system must be connected correctly, powered adequately, and balanced within the gimbal correctly in order for the whole system to operate. Because of the vast number of camera tool combinations available out there, you need a MoVI Operator who has the experience and knowledge base to be able to piece together any cinema package they are handed, regardless of its powering needs, weight, and size. There are absolutely limits to some of these needs and what will work on the MoVI, but a professional operator such as myself will be able to give you the most options available and be able to problem solve quickly on set and keep the camera rolling.

Due to the fact that the MoVI system does require special skills to rig and operate, most camera houses will not rent out MoVI equipment. And because the equipment is incredibly technical and sensitive in nature, most professional MoVI operators will only want to use their own tried and true gear on a job.

WHAT IS MOTION STATE?

Motion State is a company founded by professional MoVI Operators Sam Nuttmann, Corey Koniniec, and Ryan Haug. We joined together to form a company that specializes in using technology to move cameras, such as the Freefly Systems MoVI, aerial drones, cable cams, technocranes, and a variety of vehicle mount systems. We are all IATSE Local 600 Union Camera Operators and are some of the first MoVI Operators in the world, having used the technology on major film and television productions since the first MoVI prototype systems were introduced in 2013.

Each member of the Motion State team performs their job at the highest standard in the industry, from the high end equipment we use, to the techniques we use in operating the equipment. By having all three of us working as a team, this means that even if I am not available to work on your job, I can recommend one of my partners who I have full trust in confidence in, ensuring your production will go just as smoothly as if I were operating on it myself. In addition to our Motion State team, we also maintain a strong network of other top notch professional MoVI operators that work all over the US and abroad.

WHY SHOULD I HIRE SAM NUTTMANN VERSUS ALL THE OTHER MOVI OPERATORS OUT THERE?

There are three key things you should consider when selecting a MoVI Operator for your production: Technical Experience, Set Experience, and Value.

TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE

I worked for the company that created the MoVI, Freefly Systems when the technology was first introduced as a prototype. I worked with the prototype versions and through every iteration of the technology every step of the way. I traveled all over the US and the world training operators and DP’s how to use the technology. I had access to the MoVI and the engineers that created it for almost a year before it was available for purchase. So quite literally, I have more experience with the MoVI as a professional operator than anyone else in the world.

The MoVI Pro is a complex piece of equipment. Even when set up correctly, it requires a variety of proper tunings for different shooting scenarios. This gets even more complicated when your DP requests using third party equipment, such as pan and tilt control wheels. I not only work with all the different equipment out there for the MoVI eco-system, I have personal relationships with the companies that make them. This means if there are any issues with anything needed to make the MoVI system work, I have a straight connection to the equipment manufacturer and their customer support team.

SET EXPERIENCE

Part of my job at Freefly Systems was to bring the MoVI prototypes to professional sets, introduce the technology to DP’s, figure out how to integrate the new technology into their workflow, bring their feedback back to Freefly Systems for potential product improvement. Through this process, I not only gained invaluable experience with the technology on set, I also got to learn how to best use the technology to get cinematic shots from some of the best cinematographers in the world. This includes working with DP’s such as Rodrigo Prieto (Wolf Of Wallstreet, Argo), David Tattersall (The Green Mile, Star Wars I – III), Kasper Tuxen (Beginners, The Sea Of Trees), Antonio Riestra ASC (Last Knights, The Bachelors) and many others.

With new technology comes new players, which means there are many MoVI and Ronin operators out there with some gimbal experience and little professional set experience. Getting the shots your production needs is important, but understanding how to work with all the many teams within a production is equally important in order to be efficient and effective on set.

VALUE

Your production cannot afford to wait around for your MoVI Operator to get things working properly, it needs to work all the time, every time. In the early days of MoVI operating, I constantly heard horror stories from productions about how they tried out the MoVI on a shoot and it was a disaster – the tech wouldn’t work properly or wouldn’t work at all, despite the operator swearing they knew what they were doing. This has never been the case on any job I have ever MoVI operated on. The MoVI technology ALWAYS works EVERY time when I am on set with it. Even in a few rare scenarios where systems outside the MoVI failed and equipment was damaged, I was still able to piece it together and make it work. I know the system inside out and am an expert in MoVI problem solving, when the rare problem does arise.

The bottom line is this – if production is waiting for the MoVI to get up and running, it is costing you thousands of dollars per minute to wait. My operator rate is a fair industry standard rate and while it may be higher than some of the bargain operators you can find out there, it is not worth the risk to select an inexpensive MoVI operator with inadequate experience. While it may be your job to save your production money wherever you can, I can assure you – my rate is similar to all the other professional MoVI operators in the industry. You won’t find a better value than myself or my fellow Motion State MoVI operators.

WHAT ARE YOUR OPERATOR AND GEAR RENTAL RATES?

I don’t publish my rates online because they sometimes change, depending on how long you will be hiring me for, what you are shooting, and what your budget is. I also offer package rates if you rent one of our cameras with the MoVI package. Send me an email, text or call me, we can very quickly discuss your job and get you a quote.

ARE YOU IN THE IATSE LOCAL 600 UNION?

Yes, I am a union operator in good standing.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED? YOUR CONTACT INFO SAYS SEATTLE AND LOS ANGELES...

Our company Motion State is headquartered in Seattle, WA which is by no coincidence where the company Freefly Systems, creator of the MoVI, is located. Our team perpetually travels to jobs all over the world, but predominantly serves the Seattle and Los Angeles regions. In most cases, I cover my own costs of travel between these two markets, working on your production as a local hire.

OUR PRODUCTION IS A TRAVEL JOB. HOW PORTABLE IS THE MOVI SYSTEM?

The MoVI Pro system is surprisingly small and light, making it easy to take it on travel jobs all over the world. In most cases, I can fit all my MoVI Pro gear and personal items into two checked bags and two carry-on bags, with no overweight or oversize bag fees. For travel jobs outside the USA, we will need to complete a carnet report in order to get all the equipment through customs, but this is a relatively straightforward process and can be completed quickly without too much cost involved.

Since I began MoVI operating in 2013, I have traveled with a full MoVI kit to: Australia, Cambodia, China, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Nicaragua, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, and the UAE, with no problems.